The Devil that Danced on the Water Forna spent much of her childhood shuttling between her European mother and her Sierra Leonean father, an almost impossibly principled and courageous man who rose… Nonfiction
Book Review

THE DEVIL THAT DANCED ON THE WATER (2014)

Details Writer: Aminatta Forna; Genre: Nonfiction

Forna spent much of her childhood shuttling between her European mother and her Sierra Leonean father, an almost impossibly principled and courageous man who rose to become minister of finance in 1968 by navigating the maze of alliances and enmities that constitute African politics: tribal loyalties, personal grudges, and battles for control of the diamond trade. His popularity and integrity were a threat to the corrupt and dictatorial administration, and in 1974, he was framed and tried for treason. In this heartbreaking memoir of Forna's quest to find the truth about her father, she outlines the grim prospects of a poor and largely illiterate populace that still suffers the legacies of colonial exploitation, the misguided concept of ''benign dictatorship,'' and a brutal civil war.

Originally posted Feb 07, 2003 Published in issue #694 Feb 07, 2003 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners